Phoenix Choir of Crawley and Phoenix Sinfonia perform Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius

The Phoenix Crawley Gerontius singing workshop
The Phoenix Crawley Gerontius singing workshop

Phoenix Choir of Crawley, Phoenix Sinfonia and three soloists bring Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius to life at The Hawth, Crawley, on Saturday, March 24 (7.30pm).

Spokeswoman Denise Oswald said: “Elgar’s oratorio, based on the poem of the same name by John Henry Newman, takes its audience on an emotional and spiritual odyssey as it tells the tale of a man passing from life, through death, into the afterlife.

“On his journey, Gerontius confronts angels, demons and his own fears and doubts before the tumultuous moment of meeting God.

“The Dream of Gerontius delivers an experience that matches the intensity of its subject matter.

“Elgar meets the challenge with a work that is daring and dramatic with glorious texture, colour and sound.

“The music has shades of darkness and light with Wagnerian moments described as terrifying and breath-taking alongside those of tender mysticism and haunting beauty.

“The concert will be led by Phoenix Choir’s distinguished musical director Samuel Hayes with tenor Tom Raskin singing the part of Gerontius, baritone Quentin Hayes as the Priest and the superlative mezzo-soprano Jennifer Westwood as the Angel.

“All three soloists joined the Phoenix Choir and guest singers for a workshop day at Crawley Baptist Church early in February to explore this wonderful work together.

“The Phoenix Sinfonia will be using a reduced orchestration by David Meacock, which keeps the flavour of the original by using an organ and almost 30 instrumentalists.

“The demanding organ part will be played by Adrian Bawtree, well known in Sussex and Kent as an organist, composer and choir music director.”

Tickets cost £16 for adults, £6 for under 16s and £8 for full time students.

Call 01293 553636, purchase tickets from choir members or get them online at www.hawth.co.uk.

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